Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Why Tamim and County Cricket Need Each Other

In amongst other exploits in the BBC London commentary box, we got talking about Shakib Al Hasan. Shakib, playing for Worcestershire, was turning it miles, and had Middlesex's middle order of Shah, Malan and Housego (great to see him get a game by the way) in all kinds of trouble. KH, being a man of great knowledge, said that Shakib was (and indeed is) the first and only Bangladeshi to play county cricket.

A quick iPhone google proved that it was the case, which sort of surprised me. Bangladesh have been playing internationally for ten years now; surely at least one of them was worth a go? My search also led to a great interview with Tamim Iqbal, who put himself forward to play for a county.

When England were constantly playing Bangladesh earlier in the year, I spoke a bit about the development (or lack of it) of the Banga players - but the more first class cricket they play (especially in conditions such as England), the more experience and skills they can take into the test arena.

There are plenty of unpolished diamonds in the Bangladesh side, and there are a few players who can really benefit some counties (especially given the fact they're probably being payed a fraction of some other overseas stars). Shakib himself has proved that - taking wickets at an average of 22 this year - not bad going for a spinner playing at Worcester.

My google led me to an interview with Tamim Iqbal (the undoubted star of Bangladeshi cricket). Tamim's scored a few test hundreds, but plenty of low scores alongside the fast paced tons indicates a lack of first class experience and understanding. Tamim spoke to the Telegraph, and told of how he wanted to play county cricket, but "no one has phoned. Maybe nobody knows my number. Even I don't know my number". With counties already starting to look ahead and plan for next year, they could do much worse than Tamim. They'd just need to find out his mobile number first.

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